Single lens multispectral camera developed by Fraunhofer scientists

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The first prototype of a high-resolution camera that can produce congruent images for two spectral ranges will be presented at Optatec 2016, in Frankfurt on 7-9 June. The camera was developed by researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Photonic Microsystems (IPMS) in Dresden.

The team of researchers, led by Fraunhofer IPMS business unit manager Dr Sebastian Meyer, has developed a fully reflective, multispectral camera that uses two image sensors behind a common lens. The lens is designed as a special tilted mirror system which, because of its construction, avoids the chromatic aberrations or central obscuration effects occurring in current systems.

‘Using mirrors instead of lenses for the optical system not only provides the opportunity to replace commonly available camera systems, but also offers the chance for the creation of new applications for which weight and space are critical,’ said Meyer.

This approach enables parallax-free simultaneous image capture in different spectral ranges through a single lens, eliminating the previous need for a second lens in the system. In addition, the complicated post-processing of captured images to counteract unwanted parallax effects is no longer required. In contrast to already existing multispectral imaging systems, this technology provides for low-cost constructions and significantly easier post-production of imaging data.

The researcher team has now integrated the lens and image sensors with electronics and software in a first functional demonstrator. Visitors to Optatec will have the opportunity to view the prototype.

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